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Partially hydrolysed guar gum supplemented comminuted chicken diet in persistent diarrhoea: a randomised controlled trial
  1. N H Alam1,
  2. R Meier2,
  3. S A Sarker1,
  4. P K Bardhan1,
  5. H Schneider3,
  6. N Gyr4
  1. 1International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  2. 2GI Unit, Kantonsspital, Liestal, Switzerland
  3. 3Novartis Nutrition, Bern, Switzerland
  4. 4University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr N H Alam
    Clinical Sciences Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, GPO Box 128, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh;


Background: Partially hydrolysed guar gum (Benefiber) added to a diet is fermented in the colon, producing short chain fatty acids, which improve intestinal function, including colonic salt and water absorption.

Aims: To evaluate the effect of Benefiber supplemented comminuted chicken diet in the treatment of persistent diarrhoea.

Methods: One hundred and sixteen children (aged 5–24 months), presenting to Dhaka Hospital with a history of watery diarrhoea for more than 14 days (persistent diarrhoea), were randomised to receive either: (1) comminuted chicken diet with Benefiber (study diet); or (2) comminuted chicken diet without Benefiber (control diet). The study period was seven days.

Results: Of 116 children, 57 received the study diet and 59 received the control diet. Diarrhoea resolved in a greater number of children with the study than with the control diet (46/55 (84%) v 36/58 (62%); odds ratio 3.12, 95% CI 1.19 to 8.4). Survival analysis for the duration of diarrhoea also showed a reduced duration of diarrhoea in children receiving the study diet. There was also a trend in daily stool reduction in children receiving the study diet, significant on days 4–7.

Conclusion: Results show that Benefiber supplemented comminuted chicken diet enhances recovery of children with persistent diarrhoea, indicating its therapeutic potential.

  • ICDDR, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research
  • ORS, oral rehydration solution
  • PHGG, partially hydrolysed guar gum
  • SCFA, short chain fatty acid
  • partially hydrolysed guar gum
  • PHGG
  • Benefiber
  • persistent diarrhoea
  • comminuted chicken diet
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  • Funding: Novartis Nutrition supported the study, including the patients’ study costs and partial salary of the research staff involved in the study.

  • Competing interests: HS is an employee of Novartis Nutrition.

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